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Archive for November, 2009

Are We Poisoning Our Babies?

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Those who read my last blog, know that I expressed concerns about Gerber’s Graduates Baby Food.  Why, because of the covert way they (Gerber’s)added gluten to baby food for 7 month old babies.  Most parents would not know by the labeling, that they are giving their child a recognized food allergen.  Most instructions from physicians suggest that any food allergens be tested for when the child is older and under supervision.  What happens when you unknowingly give your child something that he/she is allergic or intolerant to?  The answer is very apparent for an allergy; there is an immediate reaction: hives, wheezing, anaphylactic shock, etc.  The intolerance is more difficult to discover.  First with intolerance the child must eat the substance.  Then the child needs to eat it again until an intolerance is reached.  It is very difficult to read reactions with intolerance, especially if it is wheat/gluten, which has up to a 72 hours (three days) reaction time.  The reactions might happen in steps.  First you might notice that your baby has dark circles under his/her eyes.  Then the stomach might start to swell with gas.  Respiratory symptoms may begin to exhibit.  Your baby will become fussy and start showing negative behavior.  Your baby’s health starts to change, but nothing you can put your finger on.  Your baby may has some diarrhea every once in a while or very itchy hands and feet.

 You decide to take the baby to the physician.  If the doctor is savvy about gluten (only 1% are) he will ask you what you are feeding the baby.  Your answer would be, only baby food.  The doctor would then decide that it could not be the baby food, since in his experience all commercial baby food is safe, but rather something systemic.  Now you have your first incorrect diagnosis because you, the parent, unknowingly gave your physician incorrect information.  If the intolerance is gluten, it may possibly also be Celiac Disease, which is an autoimmune disease.  More health problems will follow.

To be continued …

Is Gerber skirting the Food Allergen Label and Consumer Protection Act of 2004?

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Never in a million years did I think I would be warning the public about Gerber’s Baby Food.  Yet today, I am doing just that.  I happen to be visiting my baby granddaughter a couple of weeks ago.  My daughter-in-law has been doing a great job of nursing (while working) her for the past 6 months.  She just added solids to my granddaughter’s diet.  Rice cereal and some vegetables were selected to supplement.  Most of the veggies had citric acid added to keep the product from oxidizing and turning dark.  These foods fit my perimeters for children; less than 6 ingredients.  Then my daughter-in-law showed me the Graduates line from Gerber’s.  The product that caught my eye was Graduates Puffs for “crawlers” (about 7-9 months).  I turned the container around and looked at the ingredients.  The first ingredient was Rice Flour (good); but the next three ingredients upset me.  They were: Whole Wheat Flour, Wheat Starch, and Sugar.  Whole Wheat Flour contains 4 proteins, they are: albumin, globulin, gliadin and gluten.  Wheat Starch contains gluten which is used to make breads rise.  Gluten is the most discussed protein associated with Celiac Disease.  Sugar should never be in any baby food.  Whole Wheat Flour and Wheat Starch are Allergens as defined by the FDA.  Most manufacturers are noting these Allergens in Bold print at the end of the list of ingredients or putting the Allergen ingredients in parentesis so the consumer can easily see them.  This is required by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004.  Gerber has done neither.  The print of the ingredients is supposedly to be such that it is easy to read.  The print on some of the the Graduates food is so small and pushed together that it is VERY difficult to read.  The amount of ingredients are 15 and over.  Finally, why would a manufacturer of this duration and reputation offer a product: Graduates, and put a known Allergen in the baby food without proper labeling?  Let us hope that this omission will be rectified.  The FDA has been notified. (Next Blog: What happens when your baby eats gluten(wheat) and is intolerant.)